Hats Off To Our Graduates!
The Abraxas Leadership Development Program (LDP) recently celebrated two young ladies who earned their high school diplomas while at LDP. At a graduation ceremony with caps, gowns, cake, balloons and staff, youth and family members all in attendance, the diplomas were presented to the two graduates.
In addition to earning their diplomas, both girls took full advantage of their opportunity at LDP to make serious changes in their lives. One of the graduates who discharged to her family following the ceremony has already enrolled in Buck County Community College. She intends to transfer to Temple University as her college career progresses. The other has enlisted in the United States Navy and will leave here to begin her service in the military.
Growing up, I've always loved to learn.
I would attend school with a positive attitude and tried my best in school every day. During my first few years of school I struggled a lot to learn, I remember being in the third grade and receiving my last report card that would tell me if I had passed on to next grade or if I had to repeat it. The report card hangs heavily in my hand. I open it and realize that I had failed. It was such a huge disappointment for myself. I felt that I didn't try hard, I felt so stupid and so angry with myself. That was the point in my life when I started to take school seriously from then on. I started getting tutored and my mom made me stay afterschool for programs that would help me. I began to understand school a lot better and I started excelling in school. I maintained this positive attitude for a long time, and I started attending higher classes. As I got older, life got harder especially during my high school year. Being a parent and going to school was very difficult for me. I could hardly everq focus on my online classes and I didn't pay attention to my work I just tried to get by. Things became worse at home and I eventually lost custody of my son, I started going back to regular high school during my 11th grade year. That was the worst year of my life. I was hooked on marijuana; school was no longer a priority for me. All I cared about was working a lame job so I can afford enough drugs. That was the year I had completely lost myself. I didn't care about anyone, including myself. All I cared about was smoking. my point is, I would of never thought, after everything I been through, I would earn my high school diploma, if I were to stay home I know that most likely wouldn't occur. Coming here made me realize that there's more to life than drugs. I learned how important education is to me and I also learned to never give up on myself ever again. Once I started trying in school, I realized that I can do anything I put my mind to. I am very lucky to be standing here today, getting ready to graduate high school. It means so much to me to have a huge support system, because of everyone standing in this room, I strive everyday to be a successful person.
I want to start off by saying
today is a day that if you would have asked me a couple years ago, I would have laughed and said it was not going to happen. My first two years of high school I did not take serious. I thought everything was a joke and school was not important to me in any type of way. I had no intentions on going to college, and didn't think about my future at all. Even though this is not the ideal graduation, I am extremely proud of myself and I am a strong believer of everything happens for a reason. Coming to Abraxas helped me get my mind right and focused. It took a lot of work, and it was not easy but I eventually learned to think more clear in tough situations. I started to realize that I did not want to be like a lot of my "friends", not making the right choices and being negative influences. The most valuable thing I learned was that no one can take my education away. Once I was in a clear mind set, I started to be more motivated towards school. It didn't happen overnight, and I had to really put my mind to it, but I eventually settled back to how I was in school previous years. My future was becoming more clear to me. I decided I am going to college and I am going to become successful, no matter how hard it is. I am determined to prove the people wrong that doubted me. I have decided I am going to go to school for criminal justice or social work, to help out troubled teens. There is a lot of people that I give props to for dealing with me through all the years, because I was very hard headed and didn't want to listen to anything anyone had to say to me. Those people stuck by my side through the hard times and never gave up. Mom, you are my best friend, my rock, my go to. I know I haven't made things easy these past couple of years, and I am really sorry for that. I wish I could go back to the long mornings of us arguing because I would refuse to get out of bed to go to school, and just listen because I know you just wanted what was best for me. Despite all the bad decisions I made, you stuck by my side and never gave up. Most importantly, you believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. I want to thank my Dad for being tough on me and teaching me a lot of life lessons. We have been through a lot and these past couple of years haven't been the best for us either, but thank you for continuing to push me through and not giving up. I want to thank the teachers here for helping me focus on my goal of attending college, as well as setting deadlines and having a structured classroom. This helped me realized what to expect at college. I want to give a special shout out to my counselor, Ms.Ashway. I have a hard time trusting people, especially when it comes to people that I do not know, but she made me feel comfortable from our first session. She told me she wasn't going to judge me, and I could talked to her about anything that was on my mind, this means a lot to me because I've never really had someone I could talk about my past to without getting judged. She helped me remain focus on my goals of college and helped me pinpoint what I want to do to continue to have a brighter future, become successful, and make my family proud.